Tribal Self-Determination Demonstration Funds Awarded to Eight Tribes

US Department of Agriculture

USDA Supports Tribal Self-Governance Through $3.5 Million Demonstration Projects

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has awarded $3.5 million to eight tribal organizations for a project that, for the first time, will offer them greater flexibility in their administration of the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

The FDPIR Self-Determination Demonstration Project will empower tribal nations with more options to select foods for their FDPIR food packages that better align with their dietary preferences, and give them the ability to procure foods from commercial vendors. 

FNS funded proposals from the following tribal organizations:

  • Oneida Nation/ Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa from Wisconsin
  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians from Michigan
  • Lummi Nation from Washington State
  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) from Alaska
  • Chickasaw Nation from Oklahoma
  • Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians from Mississippi

The Tribes proposed to purchase a variety of products including meats, fish, grains and fresh produce. 

fdpir cooking demonstration

Cooking demonstration showing FDPIR participants how to prepare salmon with orange sauce and whole wheat pasta with broccoli.  FDPIR includes a nutrition education component that can include activities such as cooking demos, taste tests, and recipe handouts teaching clients how to make healthy meals. 

Under FDPIR’s current, traditional operating model, tribal organizations purchase nutritious, 100% domestic-grown and produced USDA Foods for eligible households.  The foods are then shipped to tribal organizations and state agencies that administer FDPIR.  These administering agencies store and distribute the foods, determine applicant eligibility, and provide nutrition education to participants.  USDA provides the administering agencies with funds for program administrative costs. 

FDPIR is administered by 105 tribal organizations and three state agencies and provides benefits and nutrition education services to approximately 278 Federally recognized tribes across the United States. In FY 2020, the program served approximately individuals per month.

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